Drinking, driving and causing injury: The position of the passenger of an intoxicated driver
AbstractBeing a guest passenger in a motor vehicle with an alcohol impaired driver carries substantial risk of personal injury. No one would doubt that where an accident results, both the passenger and the driver should take responsibility for the ensuing injuries. Under existing common law principles and recent legislative reforms however, there is a possibility that the alcohol impaired defendant driver may be able to avoid liability altogether. This article explores the various defences that the driver may raise and argues that defences which absolve the defendant from all liability should be abandoned and that contributory negligence remains the most appropriate means of providing a just and socially acceptable outcome for both the driver and guest passenger.
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